Artist Marcus Blake has finally put down his roots.
The Miamian who's been curating events since the early 2000s is now hosting his events at his creative factory, Base Art Space.
Located in Little Haiti, the colorful home is covered in the artist's signature swirls and "
Blake opened the space to give local artists a way to create without the fees, restrictions on hours of operation, and other common limitations imposed by venues.
"I wanted to give people the stability of a place, a nest, without the responsibility of needing to sell alcohol so that the venue survives," Blake says. "I wanted to fill the void, and it was a necessity to have a stable nest where people can cultivate.”
The push for the launch of his space came from the need to
Blake says artists kept telling him they had works but nowhere to showcase, while newcomers to the city said they didn’t know about a place where they could create and meet people in a setting that wasn't work-restricted.
The requests eventually led him to open the house-turned-creative-factory. Now the weekly open mike, dubbed the Portal, is a popular Tuesday-night gathering in Little Haiti. Tickets cost $10 at the door, and participants can sign up to share their music, spoken word, art, and inspirational thoughts.
“All these creative people tell me they always want to do something, and my answer to them is to make it happen," Blake says. "I had to do the same and not waste time. The faster you get it done, the more time you have to do what you love.”
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Base Art Space serves all makers and is looking for more collaborations. Recently, an erotic artist showcased her work; another maker launched his hemp product and used the space to bottle and present his creation.
Blake also hosts a monthly market for retailers and has a wardrobe room in the house with thrift items for purchase or costumes for photo shoots and films.
“Times have changed, and the urgency of bringing everyone together is about doing things on our terms and focusing. I’ve learned so much, and with focus, nothing is impossible.”
Base Art Space
4800 NW Second Ave., Miami. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also by appointment. Admission to the Tuesday open-mike night costs $10. Call 786-316-5834 or visit facebook.com/mdotbase. Follow Base Art Space on Instagram.